5 Frames… On Ultrafine eXtreme 100 (EI 100 / 620 format / Argoflex EF) – by Matt Hooker

Written by and published on
Filed under ,

I recently and abruptly went from never having even used a TLR or medium format to owning four Argoflex TLRs with an intimate understanding of the shutter internals. Argoflex may be known for their faux TLR cameras with basic viewfinders on top, but from about 1940-1951 they were the real deal.

Simple, but effective with coupled lenses and a ground glass focusing screen. For this roll, I used the last in Argus’s line of true TLRs, the Argoflex EF.


The Argoflex EF, like its predecessors, has an Argus Varex 75mm f/4.5 lens integrated into a self-contained shutter with speeds from 1/10 to 1/200 plus T and B — similar to what you might find on the end of a bellows from the first half of the 20th century. The early Argoflex models accepted either 120 or 620 film, but newer ones like mine are 620 only. Rather than modifying the camera or sanding down the 120 spool ends, I chose to re-spool each roll onto 620 spools.

For the first roll of film I ran through this camera, I wanted to use my favorite B&W stock: ILFORD HP5 PLUS. However, because of the slower shutter speed range and dim viewfinder which thrived in bright light, I went with my second favorite: Ultrafine Extreme 100. It is similar enough to HP5 that I use them interchangeably depending on the light and the camera selection. It also happens to be one of the least expensive film stocks I have ever used.

I typically meter by sunny 16, but I’ll usually take a reading on my phone once at the start of a session to make sure I have the right baseline. Ultrafine is forgiving on exposure latitude, so I rarely lose a shot on that basis. While the grain is visible, I don’t find it obtrusive. Why don’t I stick with all ILFORD or all Ultrafine? Well, I like both, so why not support both?

These photos of the daffodils and the motorcycle were unplanned, made when I happened upon them. The portraits were among the first portraits I made both with a TLR, and medium format in general. I think the Argoflex EF is best suited for walking around town, travel, and event snapshots. It’s one of the least expensive TLRs you can buy, and is a great way to try out the platform before investing in Yashica or Rollei. Combine that with the least expensive film, and it really becomes a camera for everyone.

~ Matt

Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?

Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.


Share your knowledge, story or project

At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.


Previous

In conversation with: Burley Cameras

Camera review: The Rolleiflex MX

Next

1 thought on “5 Frames… On Ultrafine eXtreme 100 (EI 100 / 620 format / Argoflex EF) – by Matt Hooker”

  1. Whaouuu Matt : Bravo, so great. Perfect images.
    Quality is high. Model is very pretty.
    The rendering is fantastic.
    Bravo.
    Thank you very much

    Reply

Join the discussion